After Legal Defeat, US Mayors Vow to Continue Municipal Broadband Fight

WRITTEN BY SAM GUSTIN

Two weeks after a federal court dealt a major blow to municipal broadband advocates, dozens of US mayors and city leaders vowed on Wednesday to continue the fight for local control of next-generation communications networks.

These community leaders are speaking out after the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that the Federal Communications Commission lacks the authority to preempt state laws that pose barriers to municipal broadband development.

In a letter to the mayors of Chattanooga, TN and Wilson, NC—the two cities that had asked the FCC to preempt such state laws—forty-two US mayors and local leaders expressed their “support and solidarity with your efforts advocating for the ability of all communities to choose the broadband solutions that are right for each of our communities.”

“We believe in aligning broadband options with community needs, instead of being hindered by restrictive, one-size-fits-all barriers sometimes put up at the state level,” the city leaders wrote. “While our paths vary, we are united by our commitment to competition and the right of self-determination for all our communities, free from interference.”

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About Mark Milliman

Mark Milliman is a Principal Consultant at Inphotonics Research driving the adoption and assisting local governments to plan, build, operate, and lease access open-access municipal broadband networks. Additionally, he works with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to increase the value of their intellectual capital through the creation of strategic product plans and execution of innovative marketing strategies. With more than 22 years of experience in the telecommunications industry that began at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Mark has built fiber, cable, and wireless networks around the world to deliver voice, video, and data services. His thorough knowledge of all aspects of service delivery from content creation to the design, operation, and management of the network is utilized by carriers and equipment manufacturers. Mark conceived and developed one of the industry's first multi-service provisioning platform and is multiple patent holder. He is active in the IEEE as a senior member. Mark received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.
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